What is at issue:
The Whales of Guerrero facilitates community-driven conservation in the fishing village of Barra de Potosí, pioneering a new approach to coastal protection that cultivates local leadership through citizen science, peer learning, and community outreach. After five years of collaborative marine mammal research, the seeds of stewardship have taken root in our region. We want to help them bear fruit by galvanizing an emerging group of Fishery and Conservation Leaders who will lead the development of a Marine Management and Protection Plan.
The long-term goal of our project is to cultivate an ethos of stewardship toward the ocean in Guerrero, Mexico through community-driven marine mammal-focused research, education, ecotourism and capacity building.
What's happening now:
The Whale of Guerrero Project is continuing its science and community efforts to assure sustainable conservation of this important region.
What we have achieved:
The selected delegates had time to prepare for the 2019 expedition and set off on their journey with a clear understanding of the expectations and the tasks ahead. The purpose of the project was to enable the representatives of Guerrero to exchange experiences with representatives of those Baja communities that had already addressed the threats to the marine environment and the challenges of marine conservation through participatory actions and cooperation.
During a week-long 2018 planning expedition, a small group of mayors and WGRP team members met with like-minded people at each site to observe their surroundings and the community first hand. Together they documented the trip and conducted interviews to talk to the inhabitants of Barra and the wider region upon their return. This also resulted in a short video from May 2018, which was shown in Barra:
We completed a 300-hour marine mammal survey in partnership with the local community, using only local staff and resources in Barra de Potosí, Guerrero, SW Pacific Mexico. We trained 43 tour guides and fishermen, conducted targeted community outreach, collaborated with community leaders, provided school programs to 12 schools, weekly after-school workshops and a 3-month US-Mexico cultural exchange program, printed publications and maps for tourists and community members and conducted global outreach. Our seasonal data was analyzed and results shared with 44 Mexican and international agencies, institutions and organizations.